June 30, 2006

retro blog - sophie's out!

okay. i have had nothing exciting happen to me lately except the wedding and honeymoon, and i've talked about that too much on here. so i'm copying my friend derek in dragging out the retro blog from an old blog i found of mine. this was posted on 9/9/2005.

A few months ago, my parents’ Scottie dog got out of her pen. It was such a heartbreaking mistake! They had people at the house raking leaves, and they had told my parents that they were going to be working in the dog pen for a couple of hours. My mom went to the store, and after they were done, my dad looked out and saw that the gate was closed and let Sophie out. A few hours later, dad noticed that she was gone and that the back gate, out of view of the house, was open!! He called mom, and later mom said that she was more worried about dad than she was about Sophie!

Mom and dad have had Scotties their whole life together. The last one they had lived to be fifteen years old. They had just gotten Sophie a couple of years before this happened, and mom was still in the “she’s new and I’m still obsessed with her” phase. The worst thing about it was that she didn’t have on her collar. Her neck was rubbing raw from one of her collars, and we had been giving her a break from them lately. But the real kicker was that we thought she might be pregnant. Yeah, really not good that she was out.

I called home from work about something trivial and mom was in a panic state. The moment I got home, I asked if they had called anyone or hung up any posters. Nope. The only thing they had done was drive around looking for her from the car.

Our community phone book has a section in the back where the numbers are sorted by street. So I got on the phone and started calling everyone in the neighborhood, leaving messages, talking to children and parents, all of whom were concerned and sorry they couldn’t help me. I went to the store and got some neon colored poster board, cut it into smaller squares and made lots of signs.

Dad was a whole lot less crazy about her than mom and complained about her pretty much constantly. It had sort of turned into a joke that dad was going to get rid of her somehow, but he never intended to do anything like that. He’s all talk. But the fact that dad was the one who let her out when she escaped did not make matters better for him. I saw dad sitting on the couch looking helpless and overwhelmed. Taking a break from the phone and signs, I sat down beside him and asked him if he was okay. Tears came to his eyes and he whispered, “I never wanted anything like this to happen…” and I collapsed into his lap. He was afraid we were going to blame him for doing it on purpose! I assured him that we certainly didn’t blame him for anything, and that we were definitely going to find her.

By this time it was around 6 or 7 in the evening. It was just beginning to edge closer to dusk, and we were all getting more and more worried. The phone rang several times with different people saying they thought they had seen her at the golf course earlier in the day. One lady said that she spent a few hours with her and her children playing on the golf course. The golf course?! That’s like two miles away!!! We would have never dreamed of looking over there! A few people called saying they had seen the posters, and were just wondering if we had found her. Wow. Amazing community.

Since we had some leads that she was in a different area where we had originally thought, I made some more posters to hang in that area. I got in my car to go hang them up, and Forrest and mom got in his truck to go in that area to call for her. Dad stayed home in case anyone called or she happened to show up.

As I was driving around hanging up the posters on stop signs and telephone poles, it had grown very dark. And I didn’t even think to call for her as I was hanging them up. Who knows why?! I had a few places in mind where I wanted to hang the signs, but as I was on my way to the final stop, I slammed on the breaks, thankful no one was behind me. There was a perfect spot to hang one! It was a 100-yard strip of a parking area in front of a few apartments on the main road with a telephone pole in the middle of it. I parked my car in the very last spot, picked up a sign and the staple gun and walked toward pole. A few steps later I heard a strange noise, like someone running toward me or sweeping their porch vigorously. I was nervous that someone was outside and going to approach me – I’m not too confident by myself in the dark, even on Signal Mountain. But I sucked it up and looked over toward the noise. I saw this little shadow in the distance, and it didn’t take me much time at all to realize that it was Sophie, running faster than I’ve ever seen her run, directly at me.

In the split second that I dropped the poster and staple gun and realized it was her, the biggest fear entered my mind that she would want to play “keep away” like she always does when we’re trying to catch her. She dashed those fears when she practically leapt into my arms, panting and dirty. I started crying immediately saying, “Oh! Sophie!! Sophie!!!!” and realized I was pretty much screaming, laughing and crying hysterically. (Goodness, I’m crying now just remembering it!!!) Shaking from excitement and relief, I put her in my car and went back to get the poster and staple gun.

I called mom and couldn’t say anything except, “I’ve got her! I’ve got her!!” which, after the first couple of words out of my hysterical mouth, realized I should add, “She’s okay! She’s okay!” Mom freaked out and practically hung up on me saying she would see me at home. Sophie was sitting in my passenger seat, and all the way home I had my arm around her, petting her and telling her that everything was going to be okay, as if she was scared or nervous. (She probably had no clue she was even lost - what a fun day she must have had!) I was still crying, trying to blink away the tears to see to drive!

Dad told me later that when he saw our cars pull in the driveway at the same time he knew we had found her. I felt like a proud new mother carrying Sophie in the house for dad to see. He almost fell out of his chair when she saw that we had her. He cried pretty hard too.

All day long at work when I knew that she was out, I couldn’t stop praying, “Lord, I know it seems silly to pray for a dog, but please let us find her! Oh let us find her!!!” I do not doubt for one moment that it was the Lord that put the idea in my head at the last second to hang that poster where I wasn’t planning on it. At exactly the right moment I pulled my car into exactly the right spot. If I had even parked in the first spot of the parking strip instead of the last, she might not have seen me! The Lord gives and takes away! All praise to Him!

PS - Turns out Sophie WAS pregnant and had six wonderful puppies just a few short weeks later!!!


Blogger Derek Conrad Brown said...

When I was younger and where my parents live was less developed, we had two hound dogs that when 'let out to play in the woods' would sometimes be gone for 2 or 3 days at a time. Sometimes you could faintly hear them barking and running miles away, probably chasing a deer or having digging wars with armadillos. Being my dad's dogs, my mom always wished them not to come back, but they always did. haha.

5:42 PM  

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